Present day approaches for the effective modelling of train crashworthiness

Customer-requested, as opposed to regulation-imposed, exploitation of crashworthiness technology in the rail sector is becoming common. This has produced a need for the virtual prototyping of a rail vehicle to account for high-speed impact during the design process of almost all new trains. Explicit dynamic finite element programs for structural crashworthiness have been the numerical tool of choice in the automobile industry for nearly 30 years. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement on car safety over that period. However, the sheer problem size of either a train carriage or the complete multi-car set has meant that the utilisation of crash simulation technology has lagged behind that of the automotive sector due to limitations in computing power. The reality should be very different. There is potentially much more that the rail industry can gain by exploiting the simulation of structural dynamics due to the far larger cost and size issues involved in destructively testing full-scale prototypes. Over the years, new software capabilities coupled with computer hardware improvements have allowed for greater efficiencies in the numerical simulation process. These have resulted in faster turn-around of alternative scenarios during the iterative engineering design process. This paper reviews modern approaches to train crash modelling in the light of today’s fast, multi-core, big-memory, computer systems, and as importantly, yesterdays hard-earned lessons, using a combination of established techniques as well as the latest modelling methodologies. Highlighted are some customised analysis tools and the types of results which are available to the industrial practitioner. Armed with such advanced software and hardware tools as well as proven methodologies, those who are charged with the responsibility for the design of a train can thus produce a vehicle far safer for today's rail passengers and crew than those of yesterday.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 10p.
  • Monograph Title: Rejuvenation and renaissance: CORE 2010: conference on railway engineering, 12-15 September 2010, Wellington, New Zealand

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517094
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 4 2014 8:07PM